Truly the scenic wonderland of New Zealand, it's easy to run out of superlatives when describing an island relatively sparsely populated by man but with an abundance of breathtaking natural gems.

The spectacular Southern Alps run down the spine of the South Island; to their east the patchworked agricultural landscape of the Canterbury plains, the 'english' city of Christchurch and the renowned whale-watching base of Kaikoura; at their heart, the alpine glories of Aoraki Mount Cook National Park.

The rugged West Coast is hemmed between the Tasman Sea and the imposing mountain chain, making for spectacular contrasts in the surrounding scenery and creating fabulous opportunities for once in a lifetime experiences, such as a helicopter flight up onto the Franz Josef Glacier followed by a guided hike through the glacial ice formations.

The less populated of the two islands, it’s easy to run out of superlatives when describing a place with such a wealth of breathtaking natural wonders. The spectacular Southern Alps run down the spine of the South Island; to their east, the patch worked agricultural landscape of the Canterbury plains, the ‘English’ city of Christchurch and the renowned whale watching base of Kaikoura; at their heart, the alpine glories of Aoraki Mount Cook National Park. The rugged West Coast is hemmed between the Tasman Sea and the imposing mountain chain with fabulous opportunities for once in a lifetime experiences, such as a helicopter flight onto the Franz Josef Glacier. Queenstown’s reputation as the adventure capital of New Zealand is well founded, but it’s also a fantastic ski resort too. Off the beaten track there’s nearby Wanaka, a picture postcard lakeside setting with a reputation for tranquillity.

Neighbouring Fiordland’s enchanting glacier cut valleys, cascading waterfalls and ancient forests should be on your ‘to do’ list and the scenic flight back from Milford Sound to Queenstown, over lakes, mountains, waterfalls and forests will take your breath away. Finally, the sunshine rich town of Blenheim is the ideal base from which to explore the vineyards of Marlborough and sample a sauvignon blanc or two.

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Where to go in South Island

Total results: 33
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The George
Hotel

The George

New Zealand
South Island
Christchurch

This five-star hotel is on the doorstep of many of Christchurch’s best attractions, and yet retains a peaceful and secluded atmosphere for guests. The hotel is the only one in the city to feature one staff member per guest, and as such, excellent and attentive service is guaranteed. A member of the exclusive Small Luxury Hotels of the World group, the hotel offers plush accommodation with top-cla...

Cabot Lodge
Hotel

Cabot Lodge

New Zealand
South Island
Fiordland

The beauty of Cabot Lodge is that, in addition to the unbeatable setting, luxe guestrooms, and gourmet homecooked cuisine, you also get the kind of authentic Kiwi experience that just can’t be taught. This is largely thanks to the multi-generation, family-owned farm in which the lodge sits, within no less than 2,000 acres of private land and 4,000 head of sheep on your doorstep, as is nearby Lake ...

Hapuku Lodge + Tree Houses
Hotel

Hapuku Lodge + Tree Houses

New Zealand
South Island
Kaikoura
Why you'll love it here...
  • Stay in unique Treehouses offering dramatic Kaikoura Mountain and Pacific Ocean Views through the large windows
  • Join wildlife experiences in nearby Kaikoura including whale watching and swimming with fur seals and dolphins
  • Savour a three-course dinner with local rock lobster and venison from the lodge’s deer farm
  • Explore the local Hapuku trails and visit the cooking school for The Supper Club culinary experience
Blanket Bay
Hotel

Blanket Bay

New Zealand
South Island
Queenstown
Why you'll love it here...
  • The property is a member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World and Relais & Chateaux
  • Savour a mind-blowing setting on the edge of Lake Wakatipu amongst the towering Southern Alps
  • Bungee jump, white water raft or jet boat through Shotover canyon in nearby Queenstown
  • Explore the neighbouring sheep and cattle station on horseback, an experience only for Blanket Bay guests
Split Apple Retreat
Hotel

Split Apple Retreat

New Zealand
South Island
Abel Tasman National Park
Why you'll love it here...
  • An intimate, adult-only retreat set in pristine woodlands at Abel Tasman National Park
  • Choose from just three luxury suites featuring private decks with panoramic views overlooking the ocean
  • Enjoy bespoke activities such as ecological, cycling and sea kayaking tours to explore local natural beauty
  • Learn how to cook the delicious food served at the retreat with a chef-led cooking lesson
The Lindis
Hotel

The Lindis

New Zealand
South Island
Ahuriri Valley
Why you'll love it here...
  • Witness the lodge’s architecturally beautiful exterior with floor to ceiling windows framing the breathtaking landscape
  • Wake up each morning to awe-inspiring Ahuriri Valley views from your luxury suite or pod
  • Visit the stables to meet the lodge’s horses and trek across high country farmland on horseback
  • Explore Ben Avon Station and the Ahuriri Valley on one of the lodge’s electric bikes
  • Your stay includes three gourmet meals a day with locally foraged ingredients including salmon and venison
Fiordland Lodge
Hotel

Fiordland Lodge

New Zealand
South Island
Fiordland
Why you'll love it here...
  • The lodge accommodates a maximum of 27 guests, ensuring an exceptional level of customer care
  • After exploring, soak in one of the outdoor hot tubs with lake and mountain views
  • Fiordland Lodge features the only restaurant in the area with views over Lake Te Anau
  • Try fly fishing, nature walks, Milford and Doubtful Sound cruises and an exclusive Milford Track Hike

Come summer or winter, the Hotel St Moritz serves as an excellent base for discovering the countless wonders in and around Queenstown, located as it is right in the middle of town for easy access to all the fantastic restaurants, bars and shops. This boutique-style hotel feels fresh and modern from top to toe, a place of capacious guestrooms and suites dressed in sumptuous tones, all enjoying Lak...

Te Waonui Forest Retreat
Hotel

Te Waonui Forest Retreat

New Zealand
South Island
Franz Josef
Why you'll love it here...
  • Highly commended for its eco-friendly tourist accommodation
  • Enjoy the sounds of nature as you eat breakfast at the treetop Canopy Restaurant
  • Over 40 trees have been planted over two seasons with Punga Tree Planting Day
  • The retreat donates to a national charity for Kiwi conservation projects across New Zealand
The Hermitage Hotel Mt Cook
Hotel

The Hermitage Hotel Mt Cook

New Zealand
South Island
Mount Cook

You can’t beat the mountain views from The Hermitage Hotel, boasting an unrivalled position within the Aoraki-Mt Cook National Park, surrounded entirely by craggy peaks and wild forest. It’s a sight that the resort cleverly frames from every angle, whether in the guestrooms with their floor-to-ceiling windows or in the Snowline Lounge where you can sit with a drink by the fireplace and marvel at t...

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